Bike Of The Week

1908 Manson Single

1908 Manson
Written by Motorcyclepedia

1908 Manson Single

Mansons are known to be Indian clones, and they used Harley Davidson front ends. They were first marketed in 1905 by Fowler-Manson-Sherman manufacturing in Chicago. The company billed itself as a manufacturer, but divisions of production and marketing are unknown. Manson was only around as a company for about 3 years.

Aurora was cloning the entire Indian motorcycle, not just the India designed engine, which it was contracted to produce for Indian.

The Manson came with a Thor Engine and carburetor. There is a possibility that Indian shipped excess parts (frame, forks, etc.) to Aurora, or maybe Indian shipped miscellaneous items to the clone companies. There is a very good possibility the company was short lived, due to the lack of records and their unwilling to be produce and market their “own” motorcycle and not a clone.

The Manson has a 22 inch frame, that weights about 120 lbs. There is shelby seamless tubing used for the frame, Gand J 2 inch tires, with a 46 inch wheel base. The 1 cylinder Thor motor has a displacement of 2 1/4 horsepower at ordinary speeds, a bore of 2 5/8 and stroke of 3 1/4 inches. It is interesting that when the motorcycle accelerates, the horse power increases from 3 to 3 1/2.

Lubrication is rather interesting as the oil is supplied to the engine by a force pump, which gives the engine the exact amount of oil it needs. That will last about 25 miles, after that the rider needs to lubricate the engine as needed. The coaster brake is made by Corbin New Departure, or Thor. The spark plug is a Thor improved mica plug.

The Manson is also equipped with chain drive, a yielding sprocket, grip control, and an Empire saddle. The box behind the seat, much like the Harley, is where the battery is stored, they are capable of up to 1,500 miles before having to be changed. Three regular batteries are used instead of special, more costly batteries. The gas tank holds a measly 4 quarts and the oil tank holds 2 pints. The Manson only held 4 quarts, but the motorcycle was capable of 75 miles per gallon. The bike could reach a top speed of 50 mph and costs between $210 and $225.

This Manson came from David Leitner and was delivered by Bill Hill in June 2009.  It is in original unrestored conditiojn with some reproduction parts.

About the author

Motorcyclepedia